Category Archives: American Express

This is Your Last Chance to Get Some Mega Bonuses from American Express

This is your last chance to get repeat bonuses on your favorite American Express personal cards.

Currently you can get the sign up bonus on an American Express personal card every 12 months. So if you got the bonus on, say, the SPG card in February 2013, you can get it again today.

Starting May 1, you will not be able to get a sign up bonus on an American Express personal card if you have ever gotten that bonus in the past. (American Express Business Cards will still follow the 12 month rule for now.)

In fact, language has already been added to American Express personal card applications that “This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.51.47 AM

But, according to American Express chat reps, that language has been added in advance of the May 1 change only in case you apply today and your application isn’t approved until after May 1. According to those chat reps, you can still be approved for an American Express personal card until May 1 and get its bonus even if you got it in the past.

I am planning to apply today for a few American Express personal cards, which I have previously opened. I figure that applying now gives me the maximum chance to approved before May 1 if I am not approved instantly.

Leave your experiences in the comments.

The Business Platinum from American Express Increases Its Sign Up Bonus to 40k Points after Spending $5k in 3 Months

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN is now offering a sign up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership.

Plus The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has the best perks of any rewards card like:

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits to offset airline fees.
  • Free Delta SkyClub lounge access and a free Priority Pass Select membership, which I use frequently when traveling economy class to get free lounge access.
  • A $100 statement credit to offset the cost of a Global Entry application. Global Entry has saved me at least four hours of my life, not waiting in immigration lines upon returning to the United States, and will save me even more in the next two years, so this is an incredible benefit.
  • Free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status. I’m earning more points on my SPG stays while getting free internet and late checkout, the two benefits of status that I most enjoy.

Furthermore the 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards now puts the card among the highest sign up bonuses for business cards. Membership Rewards are one of my favorite types of flexible points because the program has 21 airline and hotel partners.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.58.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.58.51 AM

 

And the card is automatically enrolled in the OPEN Savings Benefit, which offers you discounts or bonus Membership Rewards for using your American Express business card at various, generally business-related, merchants.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.13.54 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.14.02 PM

The bottom line on this card is that it’s so good that I got it with only a 25k point sign up bonus, and now that sign up bonus has jumped to 40k points. (Here’s my experience with the Business Platinum Card.)

Why did I get The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN? How can you make the most out of the Business Platinum Card? What types of people will get the most value from the card? Who shouldn’t get the Business Platinum Card?

Continue reading

Top Ten Credit Card Offers for Travel, March 2014

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from Raleigh, North Carolina near the end of a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.53.53 PM

My trip is taking advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for March 2014?

Continue reading

How the Amazon Prime Benefit on the Blue Cash Preferred Card Works

I really like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express quite a bit as a rewards card.

The card offers an unbeatable 6% cash back in the form of statement credits on your first $6,000 annually at grocery stores (then 1% back). And it offers 3% back at US gas stations and select US department stores.

To me it is an ideal card for families who want to take domestic vacations.

Instead of earning airline miles from an airline card and then having to hunt for award space, you can earn cash back in the form of statement credits on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and put that in a piggy bank for your next vacation.

Last year, the Blue Cash Preferred® added an Amazon Prime benefit. Since I don’t have the card yet, I don’t have first hand experience with the benefit, and I couldn’t fully understand how the benefit was implemented. I’ve now gotten some more information on the benefit from American Express:

You can receive a statement credit of $99 plus applicable taxes for the initial annual membership fee of a new Amazon Prime membership if, during your first three months of Card Membership, you:

As an Amazon Prime member, you get: unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, and one Kindle book to borrow for free each month.

  • Offer only available for new Amazon Prime memberships
  • Amazon Student, Amazon Mom, and other promotional or discounted Prime memberships are not eligible for this offer.
  • Any trial membership must be upgraded to a paid membership for you to be eligible to receive the statement credit.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.

For reference, the full offer on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is:

  • Get 100 Reward Dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period.
  • As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $75 annual fee.

————————————————————————————————————

Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Platinum Card Bonus Now 40k Points After Spending $3k in Three Months

The Platinum Card® from American Express is now offering a sign up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership.

 

Plus the Platinum Card® from American Express has the best perks of any rewards card like:

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits to offset airline fees.
  • Free Delta SkyClub lounge access and a free Priority Pass Select membership, which I use frequently when traveling economy class to get free lounge access.
  • A $100 statement credit to offset the cost of a Global Entry application. Global Entry has saved me at least four hours of my life, not waiting in immigration lines upon returning to the United States, and will save me even more in the next two years, so this is an incredible benefit.
  • Free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status. I’m earning more points on my SPG stays while getting free internet and late checkout, the two benefits of status that I most enjoy.

Furthermore the 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards now puts the card among the highest sign up bonuses. Membership Rewards are one of my favorite types of flexible points because the program has 21 airline and hotel partners.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.58.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.58.51 AM

While I absolutely love the Platinum Card® from American Express, it has two weaknesses:

  • $450 annual fee
  • Earns one point per dollar on all purchases (no category bonuses)

Why did I get the American Express Platinum Card? How can you make the most out of the Platinum Card? What types of people will get the most value from the card? Who shouldn’t get the Platinum card?

Continue reading

Why I Got the American Express SimplyCash Card with a $250 Statement Credit after Minimum Spending

Yesterday I opened the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express.

The card comes with:

  • a $250 statement credit after spending $3k in the first three months of cardmembership
  • 5%, 3%, and 1% cash back categories
  • no annual fee ever

 

A lot of people ask me what cards I get and why, so I wanted to share my decision making process, my experience getting the SimplyCash card, and my strategy with the card.

For a full review of the SimplyCash card, see American Express Simply Cash with $250 Statement Credit (After Minimum Spending), Up to 5% Cash Back, and No Annual Fee.

Why did I get the card? What was the application process? What will I designate as my 3% cash back category? How will I use the card? How long will I hold it?

Continue reading

American Express Simply Cash with $250 Statement Credit (After Minimum Spending), Up to 5% Cash Back, and No Annual Fee

The SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express now comes with a $250 statement credit after spending $3k in the first three months of cardmembership!

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 2.04.48 AM

You must be approved for the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express by April 28, 2014 to receive this offer.

Application Link: SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express

The card normally has no sign up bonus, and a $250 statement credit is extremely generous for a card with no annual fee.

Beyond the sign up bonus, the card offers the following category bonuses:

  • 5% cash back at US office supply stores and wireless phone providers
  • 3% cash back on the category of your choice
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

(The 5% and 3% cash back offers are limited to $25,000 in spending in those categories each rebate year. “Cash back” is in the form of statement credits.)

The 3% cash back category intrigues me the most, since you can select from seven possible categories:

  1. Airfare purchased from airlines
  2. Hotel rooms purchased from hotels
  3. Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  4. U.S gas stations
  5. U.S. restaurants
  6. U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  7. U.S. purchases for shipping

(For full details on what charges will code into which categories, see this page.)

Who might his card be right for? Who is this card wrong for? Who can open business cards? What are the Simply Cash’s four major benefits?

Continue reading

Which is the Best American Express Business Card for You?

Updating this post

More People Are Seeing the Targeted 50k Mile Premier Rewards Gold Offer Through CARDMATCH

Three weeks ago, I wrote How to See if You’re Targeted for the 50k Bonus Point Sign Up on the Premier Rewards Gold Card through CARDMATCH.

The targeted sign up bonus is an extremely exciting offer because it adds a headline figure of a 50,000 point sign up bonus to the Premier Rewards Gold Card, which always has one of the best earning structures of any card:

  • 3X points for flights booked with airlines
  • 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards in any calendar year in which you spend $30k on the card

But most folks told me that they weren’t being targeted for the card when they entered their info at CARDMATCH.

That seems to be changing. More people have been emailing me to report that they were targeted at CARDMATCH lately for the 50,000 bonus point offer on the Premier Rewards Gold Card. So if you wanted the 50k point offer three weeks ago and weren’t offered it, it may be worth typing your info into CARDMATCH again. (No guarantees of course.)

Key Links

  • CARDMATCH to see if you are targeted for the Premier Rewards Gold Card with 50k bonus Membership Rewards after spending $1k in three months
  • American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card with 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $2k in the first three months of card membership in case you aren’t targeted

Keep reading for full details on the CARDMATCH offer and more info on how to see if you are targeted for it.

Continue reading

Blue Cash Preferred Now Comes with One Year of Amazon Prime for New Card Holders

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express increased its sign up bonus recently by now offering Amazon Prime for one year to new card members who meet the minimum spending requirement of $1,000 in the first three months.

The year of Amazon Prime is in addition to the normal benefits of the card:

  • 6% Cash Back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases
  • 3% Cash Back at US gas stations
  • 3% Cash Back at select US dept stores
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
  • 100 Reward Dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months

Amazon Prime is a $79-per-year service that has three major benefits:

  1. Free two-day shipping from amazon.com on millions of items with no minimum order size.
  2. Unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video (a Netflix competitor)
  3. The ability to borrow a Kindle book for free each month

If your family spends a lot at grocery stores and gas stations, this card offers incredible rewards. Cash–not frequent flyer miles–is often the most efficient way to book domestic economy flights for the whole family, so the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a really great family travel card.

Compare the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to fixed value cards in my Comparison Table of Fixed-Value Bank-Point Cards.

Full offer details:

  • Get 100 Reward Dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period.
  • As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.

Application Link: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Get Your Own Referral Link for the Starwood Preferred Guest Cards to Earn Up to 55k Starpoints

You can earn up to 55,000 Starpoints referring your friends to open the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, two of my favorite cards.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.21.27 AM

I got both of the cards for myself in September because Starpoints are the single most valuable mile or point on the planet.

With my 70,000 Starpoints earned so far on the cards, I plan to do a Nights & Flights award, which would be five nights at an awesome hotel plus 50k airline miles with the airline of my choice.

For more info on Starpoints and more reasons why the Starwood cards are two of my favorite cards, see Starwood Preferred Guest Primer and Three Great Uses for the Starpoints.

How does the referral bonus work? How can you refer your friends?

Continue reading

My Experience with the Business Platinum Card from American Express

The undisputed kings of credit card benefits are the American Express Platinum Cards, which come with airport lounge access, airline fee reimbursement, Global Entry reimbursement, hotel status, and a Platinum concierge.

All Platinum cards have access to these benefits, whether they are personal or business Platinum cards.

I recently got The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN. The card has a $450 annual fee. I got it because the card member benefits far exceed $450.

 

After getting the card, I did something I do embarrassingly often, I consulted a MileValue post to refresh my memory. Specifically I read Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card to remind myself of all of the card’s benefits and how to activate them.

How did I activate my airport lounge access, airline fee credits, hotel elite status, and how long did activation take? This information is useful whether you have or plan to get a personal or business Platinum card.

Continue reading

Get a $10 Statement Credit on Each of Your American Express Cards During Small Business Saturday

Register all your American Express credit and charge cards today, spend $10 on each one this Saturday November 30 at a small business, and receive a $10 statement credit on each card.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.57.15 PM

This is the easiest win-win-win promotion of the year. We get $10 statement credits for participating, small businesses get more business, and American Express gets great advertising.

How do you register for Small Business Saturday and its $10 statement credits? How have I used my statement credits in the past?

Continue reading

American Express Platinum Card No Longer Offers One Year of Amazon Prime for New Cardmembers

The Platinum Card® from American Express no longer offers Amazon Prime as part of the sign up bonus, but the bonus points and other benefits remain.

 

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • With the Platinum Card, you can receive up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight-change fees, and snacks.
  • To receive the statement credit, you need to enroll and select a qualifying airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

More info on how to maximize the offer.

  • Membership Rewards transfer to 17 airlines.
  • $200 per calendar year in airline fee credits ($400 in statement credits in the first twelve months of card membership since that will fall over two calendar years)
  • $100 statement credit for the Global Entry application fee
  • Lounge access to Delta, American, US Airways, and Priority Pass lounges
  • Gold Status with Starwood Preferred Guest (free internet and breakfast)
  • These and several other major benefits are described in detail–including how to activate those that aren’t automatic–in Get the Most Out of Your American Express Platinum Card. Combined I think the benefits easily outweigh the $450 annual fee.

If you maximize all the benefits of a new Platinum Card® from American Express–and you really value lounge access at airports–I can easily see a new card holder getting $1,000 or more in value from the benefits in the first 12 months, not even including the 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards, which are worth another $500 to me. (See here for great transfer ideas.)

Comparison Table of Fixed-Value Bank-Point Cards

Recently, United and Delta have devalued their award charts. At the same time, the banks have really stepped up their offers for fixed-value bank-point cards that earn rewards ideal for economy class travel. Several of these cards now offer sign up bonuses worth over $400 in free travel, and they can’t be ignored.

I see the big cards in the fixed-value space as the:

Each of these six cards–with over $2,000 total in sign up bonuses–are different, but the first five listed all earn proprietary bank points that can be used for free flights on any flight, any time, on all (or almost all) airlines with no blackouts.

The number of points needed for the free flight redemption depends on the price of the cash ticket for the underlying flights. For instance, a $250 flight would cost 20,000 ThankYou points getting 1.25 cents per point. A $1,000 flight would cost 80,000 Arrival miles, getting 1.25 cents per point.

For this reason, I call the first five “fixed-value bank-point cards.”

Fixed-value bank-point cards are ideal for economy flights and atrocious for premium cabin flights because economy flights are cheap with cash and premium cabin flights are expensive with cash. In particular, I liked to use fixed-value bank points for very cheap flights and flights over peak holidays like Christmas and summer vacation.

The last card on the list is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which doesn’t exactly fit because it earns cash back not bank points. But fixed-value bank points and cash back are similar enough that I wanted to include it on the chart.

How do the six cards sign up bonuses, category bonuses, annual fees, other perks, and drawbacks compare? See the tables after the jump!

Continue reading